Tom Hoops on Passers-by
If you ever tryed to shoot pictures of passer-by in the streets you know that its’ not an easy job. You rarely come up with what you expected and most of all the difficulty lies in being accepted by the subject. Going through Tom Hoops photostream and website I was fascinated by his capacity to capture interesting expressions of “strangers” in the streets and composing beautifull black and white portraits. If you are in Bankok go see his exhibition or check his website and Flickr page. All details after the interview.
Can you shortly introduce yourself?
Alright! Hello I’m Tom Hoops. I take photos. :)
When did you first started photography? Did you studied photography at school/university?
Self taught and I’ve not been doing it long, although I’ve always had some sort of camera.
You mainly do portraits, what is that interest you in portraiture?
Well i have a fascination for the human face, Asian,White,Black it doesn’t matter. I Ihink you can tell a lot from a persons face. I try and capture it as best i can and in a way that engages the viewer. Until recently they have all been shots of passers by. It’s fun to get a decent portrait in seconds.
What is that interest you in photography?
I like an image that makes me sit back in disbelief. Something a bit different. It’s all about the image for me. I don’t have any interest in the technical aspects or equipment. Just the photo, just the image.
How would you describe your work and how do you choose the people you work with?
Menacing to some, interesting to others, a bit different i hope. my work is developing as i go along so I’m not sure how to pigeon hole it. People i work with? People in my photos?
Well most are strangers, shot as and when i find them. Those that i know would be family, friends or models. Depends what I’m doing really.
How do you approcah the people you photograph?
If they are people in the street i just ask them with a wink or a smile, it’s normally enough. People generally don’t mind having their pics taken. If it’s documentary then people are generally too busy getting on with things to worry about a photographer.
What lighting and camera do you use?
Was waiting for the techy question. :) Sunlight mainly and a DSLR from Nikon.
What are you trying to capture through photography?
Life,people,love,despair,beauty,hate,lust,intelligence,stupidity….all those things we find interesting.
To the viewer of your work what feeling or impression would you like to leave?
I hope they get a little bit of what i get from my photos, a sense of those that i shoot and a sense of the passion i have for what i do.
Right now are you working on a specific subject? If yes can you tell us more about?
Hmmm a few projects in the very early stages. One concentrating on human transition which I’m excited about. The other a long 2-3 year project, working with 4-5 other photographers globally. In the immediate future i will be heading to Phuket to cover the vegetarian festival for a UK magazine, it will form part of an Asian supplement. Some smaller jobs too coming up but nothing quite as exciting.
You are preparing a big exhibition. Can you tell us more about?
Sure. It’s called Heads at the facebar in Bangkok. It’s my first solo exhibition and it’s in a beautiful venue so I’m really excited. I’ll be exhibiting street portraiture mainly, with a few other pieces thrown in too.
What are your main inspirations?
All the early magnum guys are a definite inspiration. also Thierry Le Gouès.
What do you look for in other photographers work?
Passion, brilliance, difference. And great subjects.
If you could invite 3 photographers or artist at a dinner who would it be and why?
Haha tough one. OK. Probably not famous names, i would choose some of the photographers who have become good friends through flickr. They know who they are. oh and i’d probably invite more than just 3.
Any young photographers or Flickr member which work you really like and that you would like us to discover?
Lots, find me in flickr and rummage through my favs, you’ll find some inspiring work there.
Thank you Tom
Interview by Frankie
TOM HOOPS EXHIBITION FLYER
TOM HOOPS WEBSITE